The master's program in Educational Foundations, Policy & Practice (EFPP) includes two possible concentrations, each with a different focus: community-based change, and evaluation and policy analysis. Both concentrations engage students in a critical examination of the relations among education, society, culture and government, with special emphases on issues of equity along lines of race, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual diversity, (dis)ability, and intersections of these.
The program stresses analysis of educational theory, policy, and practice by drawing on the humanities and the social sciences. Its foundation is critical scholarship, which examines educational institutions within broad social, political, cultural, legal, and economic contexts in the United States. Program faculty members offer courses in social, cultural, historical, legal and philosophical foundations of education; in policy analysis; and in evaluation. Additional related courses are available in other programs within the School of Education and in other departments of the university.
EFPP has designed its master's program as a flexible program with a relatively small size to encourage strong and enduring relationships among students and faculty. All master's program concentrations are designed to prepare graduates for diverse roles as educators, advocates or policy analysts in schools, government agencies, think tanks, policy organizations, community organizations or institutions of higher education. This program also prepares graduates to pursue doctoral work.
Community-Based Change Concentration
Students will pursue a course of study to develop expertise in policy analysis, research methods, and program evaluation, as well as specific areas of inquiry such as contemporary school reforms and partnerships between schools and communities. This strand of the EFPP MA program is specifically geared toward educators, non-profit leaders, parents, and other community members who wish to gain skills and knowledge that will assist them in becoming powerful advocates for high-quality, equitable education.
Key foundations courses in this concentration include but are not limited to: policy issues in education, philosophy of education, anthropology of education, sociology in education, history of American education, education policy and the law, international and comparative education, queer(ing) topics in education, and issues in African-American education. Students will create a specific course plan around their interests in consultation with their advisor.
Evaluation and Policy Analysis Concentration
Students will pursue a course of study to develop expertise in policy analysis, research methods, and program evaluation, as well as specific areas of inquiry such as the process of school reform and the development of more equitable education policies. The program is designed to prepare evaluators and policy analysts for careers in academic institutions and agencies at the state and federal levels. Graduates will be able to analyze, recommend, and evaluate public policies.
Key courses in this concentration include but are not limited to: education evaluation, policy issues in education, philosophy of education, education policy and the law, and theoretical issues in education policy. Students will create a specific course plan around their interests in consultation with their advisor.
Bachelor's–Accelerated Master's Degree Program
Students may earn this degree as part of the Bachelor's–Accelerated Master's (BAM) degree program, which allows currently enrolled CU Boulder undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a bachelor's and master's degree in a shorter period of time.
For more information, see the Accelerated Master's tab for the associated bachelor's degree(s): Ethnic Studies - Bachelor of Arts (BA).
Completing the BAM degree program efficiently requires early and careful planning. Interested students can contact education advisors at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-492-6555, and Ethnic Studies advisors at email@example.com or 303-492-8852 at any time.
Students must successfully complete 30 credit hours of approved coursework while maintaining at least a B (3.0) average in all work attempted while enrolled. Students must also successfully pass their Capstone Course. The master’s degree must be completed within four years.
For more information on requirements for the master's degree, visit the Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice page on the School of Education website.
Students develop a degree plan in consultation with their faculty advisor, typically in their first semester. The frequency of individual course offerings varies; therefore, candidates should plan ahead so that the required 30 credit hours are completed within the four-year limit set forth below.
Students select the remaining 6 credit hours in consultation with their advisors, depending on the credit distribution in the above categories.
Required Courses and Credits
|Choose at least 15 credit hours in educational foundations. Suggested courses:|
|International / Comparative Education|
|Sociology in Education|
|History of American Education|
|Queer(ing) Topics in Education|
|Education Policy and the Law|
|Gender Issues in Education|
|Ethics in Education|
|African American Education in the United States|
|Higher Education in the United States|
|Anthropology of Education|
|Philosophy of Education|
|Seminar: Policy Issues in Education|
|Philosophical Issues in Educational Research|
|Theoretical Issues in Education Policy|
Ordinarily, entering master's-level students will take the following two courses to meet this requirement:
|Basic Statistical Methods|
|Introduction to Disciplined Inquiry|
Those who have already taken one or more comparable courses can adjust their course of study accordingly.
Students may select 6 credits of coursework in consultation with their advisor.
|Total Credit Hours||30|
During the final spring semester prior to graduation, students must enroll in the capstone course, EDUC 6945 MA Capstone Seminar in Foundations of Education. This course is only offered in the spring semester. The capstone course requires the submission of a paper or project reviewed by faculty to successfully complete both course and graduation requirements.
Transfer of Credit
Transfer credit is defined as any credit earned at another accredited institution, credits earned on another campus of the CU system, or credits earned as a nondegree student within the CU system including the Boulder campus. Students who have transfer credits must complete the transfer of credit paperwork approval process.
The maximum amount of work that may be transferred from another accredited institution to CU Boulder is 9 credit hours. These transfer credits are accepted only after approval of the department chair or program director and under the special conditions outlined in the Graduate School Rules. All courses accepted for transfer must be graduate-level courses. A course in which a grade of B- or lower was received will not be accepted for transfer. Transfer coursework must have been completed in the five years prior to acceptance to the program. Credit may not be transferred until the student has completed six credits of graduate-level coursework, with a 3.0 GPA, as a degree-seeking student on the CU Boulder campus.
MA students in Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice will:
Understand and apply various disciplinary perspectives and critical theoretical lenses to analyze educational policy and practice.
Analyze the relationship between schools and various social, political and economic forces that structure educational aims, institutions and practices.
Develop nuanced and sophisticated understandings of equity and justice, as well as the ability to evaluate how (and to what extent) various educational policies and practices advance or undermine such aims.
Develop and practice strategies and skills of policy analysis and program evaluation, in order to effectively analyze, recommend and evaluate public policies and to advocate for high-quality, equitable education.
Design a high-quality, research-based project that demonstrates academic skills of argument, evidence and reasoning.